I moved to The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix (UA COMP) from Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research, where I was a research group leader. Here, I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and in the Translational Cardiovascular Research Center at UA COMP. I lead a research group in cardiac molecular biology, focused on understanding changes in protein homeostasis that contribute to heart disease.
The focus of my research is understanding how cardiac myocytes adaptively respond to stress with a vision that such responses could become the basis of new therapies for heart diseases that stress cardiac myocytes. The long-term goal of our research program is to better understand the age- and disease-linked deficits in protein homeostasis that contribute to disease-related cardiac dysfunction, and to use this understanding to identify cellular targets that may serve as viable new therapeutic candidates. A major research direction of our lab is to study how heart disease affects gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, which is of major importance for maintaining protein homeostasis. We also study adaptive responses of the heart mediated by proteins secreted by the heart, in order to define potential therapeutic approaches that use the heart’s natural defenses. My current research program utilizes integrative approaches from molecular and organellar to cellular and organismal levels to examine the dynamics of the protein homeostasis network in health and disease.